Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to Marbleize Paper with Kids


I have heard the term "marbleize" but I didn't know what it meant.  In some research online I found beautiful creation by Martha Stewart and others.  But when I saw supplies of liquid acrylic paints and methyl cellulose, I knew that this was a craft that was beyond my abilities and supply cabinet.

But then I found a website ( that uses "real" ingredients.  "Real" being supplies that I already have and items that I don't have to worry about having the Poison Control phone number close by. 


Cooking Oil
Food Coloring
Eye dropper (medicine dropper works too)
Card stock paper
Small containers
Knife or toothpick

1.  Pour enough water into a pan to just cover the bottom.  I used a jelly roll pan and it worked great.

2.  In a small container, pour about 1/2 Tablespoon of oil.  Add approximately 1 teaspoon of food coloring.  Notice how the two do not mix.  (Oil/water concept)  We used an ice cube tray as we made several colors.  Beat the oil and coloring together.  This will take a little bit as the two don't want to mix.

3.  Next, fill the eye dropper with a oil/food coloring solution.  Place single drops of color on the water.  The solution will not spread (unless you didn't mix the solution well).  Do the same with other colors.  Make patterns in the colors by swirling a knife or toothpick through the colors.  

4.  Gently lay a piece of paper on the water surface of the pan.  Within a few seconds, the oil will soak through the paper.  (In the image above, you can see the spots on the left paper.)  Once the oil is evident, gently pick up the paper.  Picking the paper straight up keeps the colors from running. 

VoilĂ !  Isn't is cool?

To expand the learning, we marbleized the "Mm Poster."  Marbleized M!  This would also make a great Easter egg or a beautiful cross!

The sky's the limit.  Have fun!

What items would you like to marbleize?


  1. We've also used chalk to marbleize paper. Just shave chalk off onto the water. It's pretty.

    1. Oh cool! I didn't know this was an option. Thanks for sharing.


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